Meet Dorian Hines from the Tennessee Nonprofit Network

We met with Dorian Hines from the Tennessee Nonprofit Network, an organization that serves the state’s nonprofit community “by connecting them to resources, decision-making forums, and each other.” Dorian is the Middle Tennessee Regional Director and we asked him a few questions to learn more about his work and how he can connect with our nonprofit partners. Read below to learn more.

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Stand With Us for Philanthropy

The Maddox Fund has signed onto a statement from the Council of Foundations and Independent Sector to support the rights of philanthropic organizations, charitable nonprofits, and individual donors to give in ways that align with their values. That includes efforts to support historically marginalized groups. You can read the full statement and sign onto the petition below.

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Comment on Rejecting Federal Education Funds

The Maddox Fund submitted the following comment to the members on the committee reviewing a potential rejection of $1.8 billion in federal education funding.

Dear Members:

The Dan and Margaret Maddox Fund is a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to better our community through partnerships that improve the lives of young people and protect the natural environment. We are reaching out regarding the working group starting on November 6 that will be discussing the state’s rejection of federal education funds.

In this working group, we hope that you will remember that federal dollars make up 11% of Tennessee school districts’ revenue.  The rejection of these funds will negatively impact students from low-income backgrounds, those in rural communities, students with disabilities, and those facing homelessness. 

Since the Maddox Fund’s inception, we have committed over $23 million in funding to education and youth – serving nonprofit organizations working in the 41-county Middle Tennessee region.  However, we know that this is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to ensuring that every student has access to a nurturing learning environment.  Private philanthropic institutions have often been called to meet resource gaps in the community but refusing $1.1 billion in federal funding would create a need far too great for local funders to fill.

We hope that you will consider the above as you discuss the proposal.  The Maddox Fund is also available to answer any questions you might have.  Thank you for your work to help ensure that our students have the resources they need to thrive.

From the Dan & Margaret Maddox Fund

For any questions about our comment, please feel free to email

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2023 Grant Announcements

The 15th year of grantmaking at the Maddox Fund was an exercise in unlearning. Instead of reverting to traditional practices, we stretched ourselves to live more intentionally into our vision of a world in which people and planet flourish together in regenerative systems free from oppression and threat. Unlearning isn’t easy. Imagining a liberated world hidden behind a veil seems impossible, but with practice we have a chance to glimpse that longed-for future for which we strive.

This year the Grant Committee noted that words like budgets, outcomes and measurements gave way to the more relational language of trust, co-creating, healing and justice. These North Stars were centered in every discussion, as was our priority to fund more organizations that have been historically and systemically starved for the funding they need to bring about change in their communities.  Our funding areas—youth and the natural environment—remained unchanged.

In the spirit of transparency, you can find the last 5 years of grantmaking on our website—including 2023. So that data can become knowledge that transforms our actions, we offer this analysis of our 2023 grants to date in comparison to our 2018 grantmaking:

 Total GrantsAdvocacyBIPOC-led
2018$2.1 million8% of funding17% of funding
2023 YTD$1.4 million33% of funding77% of funding

The Maddox Fund will also have two participatory grant processes later in the year. $100,000 will be allocated to the community by HBCU students and an additional $100,000 will be distributed to area nonprofits by LGBTQI+ young people. To stay informed, follow us on ​Facebook and Instagram.

The Maddox Fund was disappointed that we did not receive more applications to support LGBTQI+ led advocacy organizations working with young people — only 4% of our funding year-to-date went to address this pressing need.   For that reason,   the Maddox Fund has set aside an additional $100,000 to support LGBTQI+ advocacy. Clearly, a mere 4% won’t bring justice for a community under attack.

Liberation is only as permanent as our practice. The Grant Committee knows there is more internal work required to ensure that equity, justice and liberation are normalized, formalized and woven into the fabric of the Fund. As a learning organization, we are convinced of and committed to the relentless pursuit of that practice.

2023 RFP Grant Partners

Organization Name Grant
Conexion Americas $ 40,000
Equity Alliance $ 60,000
Futuro Inc $ 40,000
Launch Pad $ 55,000
Music City Construction Careers Inc $ 20,000
Nashville Freedom School Partnership $ 50,000
Nashville International Center for Empowerment $ 30,000
One Willco $ 30,000
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi $ 30,000
Salama Urban Ministries $ 40,000
Southern Movement Committee $ 60,000
Sunrise Movement $ 50,000
Tennessee Educators Of Color Alliance $ 62,000
Tennessee Immigrant And Refugee Rights Coalition $ 50,000
Tennessee State University Foundation (Environmental Career Exploration) $ 25,000
Tennessee State University Foundation (Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative) $ 40,000
The Education Trust $ 25,000
Waterbear $ 25,000
Why We Can’t Wait $ 30,000
Women of Color Collaborative $ 30,000

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2023 Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31st is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Maddox celebrates the joy and resilience of our trans and non-binary siblings. Today is a good day to learn more about gender identities outside your own and here are some resources to explore:

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2023 Grant Application is now open!

The Maddox Fund is pleased to announce that our 2023 grant application is now available online. While our focus areas remain Youth and the Environment, our eligibility requirements and priorities have changed to reflect our racial justice commitment.  The deadline for applications over $30,000 is March 1, 2023.

If you would like to discuss your organization’s work or program with a Maddox staff member, you can schedule a time to meet through the links below:

You can always provide anonymous feedback  to the Maddox Fund.  We are interested in your thoughts, ideas and honest critique. To keep up with opportunities,  follow Maddox on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. We remain thankful to all Middle Tennessee nonprofits. You are at the heart of the community we call home.

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Where We’re Headed: Learning and Unlearning

As we pilot our re-designed grant program, it is tempting to recount the Maddox racial equity journey with you—charting our work from 2017 to now, both our learning and unlearning. But instead, I’ll point you to the timeline on our website and the series of blog links that appear below. Suffice it to say, change has come through intentional and ongoing struggle.

What will remain the same going forward is our mission—to make Middle Tennessee a better place through partnerships that improve the lives of young people and protect the natural environment. What will change are our grant strategies and practices in hopes of contributing to a more equitable, just and liberating tomorrow.

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